ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Xi's incoherent policies signal danger, former Japan general warns

Tokyo's defense documents are 'significant shift' from past guidelines

Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov. 19, 2022. His incoherent policies are raising worries among military experts.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- For two decades, retired Lt. Gen. Koichi Isobe was associated with formulating Japan's National Defense Program Guidelines, the road map for future defense capabilities. During those years, he faced constant pressure from lawmakers and the Ministry of Finance to cut tanks and artillery.

When the Cold War came to a close, some suggested that Japan did not need any of the 1,200 tanks it had, since Russia was unlikely to invade from Japan's north anymore. Isobe and his colleagues in the Ground Self-Defense Force argued that such a drastic reduction would significantly weaken Japan's defenses and managed to maintain 600 or so.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more